Spring 2009 series wraps with April 28 lecture on Nürnberg Trials

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Dr. Art Lee will present the April 28 program “The Nürnberg Trials: What Happened to the Top Nazis” as the concluding lecture of the spring 2009 Academy of Lifelong Learning series.

Open to the public at no charge, the 90-minute program starts at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation, located at 3801 Bemidji Avenue North.

The Nürnberg Trials were a series of trials, or tribunals, for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military and economic leadership of Nazi Germany after its defeat in World War II. The first and best-known of these trials, which lasted from Nov. 20, 1945-Oct, 1, 1946, was held before an international military tribunal that tried 22 of the major war criminals captured following World War II. A second set of court proceedings for lesser war criminals continued through 1949.

A professor emeritus of history at Bemidji State, Lee will focus on the major war criminal deliberations during his presentation. He intends to outline pre-trial information as well as discuss the names of those on trial and the judges’ decisions on all cases. He’ll also examine how trials of lesser-known war criminals are ongoing in Germany today, as reflected in the recent book and movie, “The Reader.”

“These trials were the most followed trials in the world, OJ. Simpson notwithstanding,” said Lee. “My interest in the trials got a boost when I recently visited the location and courtroom where the trials were held. I hope this presentation will serve as informative to the younger people in the audience and a memory-jogger for those above the age of 60.”

Lee joined the Bemidji State faculty in 1959 as a supervising instructor at the Laboratory School on campus before becoming a member of the Department of History in 1963, specializing in classes on 20th century America. He retired in 1995.

Twice selected as faculty lecturer of the year, he is the author of a history of Bemidji State University, “University in the Pines,” as well as several books looking at Scandinavian heritage and life in the United States, including “Scandinavians Never Repeat Gossip – So Listen Carefully” published last year.

Lee holds degrees from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa; the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.; and the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D.

The Academy of Lifelong Learning offers humanities-based programs made possible in part with private donations and support from Bemidji State University. Individuals who wish to be added to the ALL mailing list or have questions about this program should contact the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation at (218) 755-4900; toll free, (888) 738-3224; e-mail, cri@bemidjistate.edu; or at http://www.cri-bsu.org.

April 28 – 10 a.m. – Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation hosts Academy of Lifelong Learning lecture on the post-World War II Nürnberg Trials. Presenter: Dr. Art Lee, professor emeritus of history, Bemidji State University. Location: CRI; 3801 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji, Minn. Cost: free. For information: (218) 755-4900; (888) 738-3224; http://www.cri-bsu.org.